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Research

What is DEVORA?

DEtermining VOlcanic Risk in Auckland

DEVORA is a multi-agency, multi-disciplinary collaborative research programme which is led by volcanologists at the University of Auckland and GNS Science. The project, active since 2008, aims to improve the volcanic hazard outlook and risk assessment for Auckland. The findings have the potential to improve business decision-making and risk management, as well as make Auckland a safer place. Our funding partners include The University of Auckland, GNS Science, the Earthquake Commission, the Auckland Council, and Massey University. Experts from these organisations and others across New Zealand and the world are involved in the project.

Why is this project important?

The city of Auckland is built on the potentially active Auckland Volcanic Field. It is also vulnerable to ash fall from other North Island volcanoes. As Auckland provides over 1/3 of the nation’s gross domestic product, is a major transport and economic hub, and is home to over 1.5 million people, a volcanic eruption would place the nation’s economy and the city’s infrastructure and population at risk.

What are we doing?

Scientists, emergency managers, economists, and other experts and stakeholders across New Zealand are working together to create an integrated risk model summarising the answers to three major questions:

Why is the AVF where it is?
We are gathering data to explain how, why, and how often and how fast magma moves to the surface in the Auckland Volcanic Field.
What happens when the volcanoes erupt?
We are studying past eruptions (timing, size, location, volcanic deposits) to recognise patterns and to identify the biggest threats to Auckland from future eruptions.
What are the potential impacts?
We are compiling information on Auckland’s built and social environment and combining it with the answers to the questions above to describe how an eruption would affect Auckland and the rest of New Zealand. This will result in a tool that will help emergency managers make life-saving decisions before, during, and after an eruption.

In 2015, the project entered its second phase. While research into understanding magma and eruption behaviour continues, we are now focused on studying the impact of an eruption on society, how best to prepare, and how to communicate to you--the public--before, during, and after a volcanic crisis:

Planned Future DEVORA Outcomes

  1. We are confident in knowing the Auckland Volcanic Field
  2. Our diverse society knows, understands, and trusts our science
  3. People will act safely in a volcanic crisis
  4. People understand and appropriately mitigate risk and consequence; we provide the information in language/formats that suit their needs
  5. Auckland Council, business, and individuals have anticipated, prepared for and are able to response and recover - planning appropriately
  6. DEVORA supports 'Resilient Auckland'
  7. Auckland continues to thrive following any NZ eruption
  8. Our science has wider benefits
  9. Auckland is linked in to other major hazard programmes, aligned to DEVORA
  10. We are confident in knowing other volcanic threats to Auckland

Want to know more, or have a question for us?

Visit DEVORA's website or follow the project on Facebook page.